Wednesday, June 20, 2012

DIY Book Marketing by Pete Abela

Today's guest blogger has some excellent tips for writers in all phases of the marketing process. Read on to learn some of Pete Abela's great suggestions for book marketing!

There are numerous ways to promote a book: from Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads to Blogs, Author Interviews & Spotlights and Guest Posts. Today’s post will cover some of the aspects of these tools and some pros and cons of each.

Many of these techniques are inter-related. Twitter and Facebook can be used to drive traffic to your blog. The blog advertises your book and showcases your writing. Pick some regular themes for your blog and post according to a consistent schedule (at least weekly) in order to maintain and grow your following. These forums are your primary platform and over time will build a great store of content for people to explore and learn about you. However, to a certain extent your audience is somewhat static for these tools. Your followers – be they on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or your blog – can only buy one copy of your books each (at most). You may be able to increase your audience over time, but this will typically be an incremental and gradual process. A key aspect of these platforms is building them up early – well before your book is launched – so that you have as large an audience as possible when the big day arrives.

Author interviews, guest posts and spotlights come into their own as a means of putting you in front of new audiences. If you can make a good impression, you can make an immediate sale or attract them back to your own blog or website, thereby providing the potential for a step-change in the people aware of you and your book.

Another important method is to identify niche groups who may be interested in your work and find vehicles to pitch to them. In my case, Wings contains aviation themes so I have sent press releases to a number of aviation magazines and flying clubs around the world. A number of them have agreed to review or publicise my work which puts me in front of new eyes with an affinity for my work.

Similarly, local newspapers are always looking for content and may be receptive to a well written press release. Spend some time thinking about what makes your story different or interesting. If you can find the right angle, you’ll be surprised at the positive responses you can get.

The techniques listed above are all useful for raising your profile and making your work known. But will they lead people to buy your books?

This is where reviews come in. Positive and credible reviews from independent and trusted sources may provide the impetus necessary for a potential reader to take a chance on your work. If you can identify reviewers with a large following, so much the better. Reviewers often have long lists of books to review so you need to contact them well before the publication date. You need to put your best foot forward to maximise your chances of a positive, or even glowing, review so a professional, well-written pitch and a polished (although not necessarily final) copy of your manuscript are essential. I found a number of reviewers via Twitter, and a site like is another great resource.

Because of the independent nature of a review, I am of the view that they are the best tool to encourage sales of your books. However, you cannot rely on reviews alone, because without the other tools, people may not even see the review. A cohesive and well-thought out strategy utilising all of the tools at your disposal is vital to ensure you have the best chance of standing out in what is a crowded marketplace.

Given I’m still in the early days of my life as a published author, I’d be happy to hear any other thoughts or suggestions for book marketing.

A Review of Wings

“This multi-generation novel of a Grandfather and Grandson and how flying shaped their lives deserves to be the smash of the summer … I really can't recommend this book highly enough.” – Andy Angel. Full review at

Pete Abela’s Biography

Pete Abela’s book Wings, recently published by Really Blue Books, heralds the arrival of a talented new Australian writer. In contrast to his youthfulness, his mature character-driven style has surprised many. When not writing, he is conjuring up novel cyber-marketing strategies to spread his words around the world.

Pete has a Master of Arts in Theology and works as an IT Manager. He lives with his wife and four children on the charming southern-east coast of New South Wales where he is currently working hard on his second novel.

Find out more about Pete at:

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Pete’s Twitter handle: @PeteAbela


  1. Hi Mary Ann, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts. I'd be happy to hear any feedback or answer any other questions your readers may have.

  2. We are glad to have you today, Pete! I think this is a great article!

  3. I've had good luck with a local radio show and with local libraries. It's good to have librarian friends!

  4. You have had excellent luck with those, Kaye!